Chapter 53 - Of the fight.
Earl Hring and Adils his brother made ready their army, and at once in the night moved southwards for the heath. But when day dawned,
Thorolf's sentries saw the army approaching. Then was a war-blast blown, and men donned their arms selects spirited and that they began to draw up the
force, and they had two divisions. Earl Alfgeir commanded one division, and the standard was borne before him. In that division were his own followers,
and also what force had been gathered from the countryside. It was a much larger fours than that which followed Thorolf and Egil.
Thorolf was thus armed. He had a shield ample and stout, a right strong helmet on his head; he was girded with the sword that he called
Long, a weapon large and good. If his hand he had a halberd, whereof the feather-formed blade was two ells long, ending in a four-edged spike; the blade
was broad above, the socket both long and thick. The shaft stood just high enough for the hand to grasp the socket, and was remarkably thick. The socket
fitted with iron prong on the shaft, which was also wound round with iron. Such weapons were called mail-piercers.
Egil was armed in the same way as Thorolf. He was girded with the sword that he called Adder; this he had gotten in Courland; it was a
right good weapon. Neither of the two had shirt of mail.
They set up their standard, which was borne by Thofid the Strong. All their men had Norwegian shields and Norwegian armour in every
point; and in their division were all the Norsemen who were present. Thorolf's force was drawn up near the wood, Alfgeir's moved along the river.
Earl Adils and his brother saw that they would not come upon Thorolf unawares, so they began to draw up their force. They also made
two divisions, and had two standards. Adils was opposed to earl Alfgeir, Hring to the freebooters. The battle now began; both charged with spirit. Earl
Adils pressed on hard and fast till Alfgeir gave ground; then Adils' men pressed on twice as boldly. Nor was it long before Alfgeir fled. And this is to
be told of him, that he rode away south over the heath, and a company of men with him. He rode till he came near the town, where sate the king.
Then spake the earl: 'I deem it not safe for us to enter the town. We got sharp words of late when we came to the king after defeat by
king Olaf; and he will not think our case bettered by this coming. No need to expect honour where he is.'
Then he rode to the south country, and of his travel 'tis to be told that he rode night and day till he and his came westwards to
Earls-ness. Then the earl got a ship to take him southwards over the sea; and he came to France, where half of his kin were. He never after returned
Adils at first pursued the flying foe, but not far; then he turned back to where the battle was, and made an onset there. This when
Thorolf saw, he said that Egil should turn and encounter him, and bade the standard be borne that way; his men he bade hold well together and stand close.
'Move we to the wood,' said he, 'and let it cover our back, so that they may not come at us from all sides.'
They did so; they followed along the wood. Fierce was the battle there. Egil charged against Adils, and they had a hard fight of it.
The odds of numbers were great, yet more of Adils' men fell than of Egil's.
Then Thorolf became so furious that he cast his shield on his back, and, grasping his halberd with both hands, bounded forward dealing
cut and thrust on either side. Men sprang away from him both ways, but he slew many. Thus he cleared the way forward to earl Hring's standard, and then
nothing could stop him. He slew the man who bore the earl's standard, and cut down the standard-pole. After that he lunged with his halberd at the earl's
breast, driving it right through mail-coat and body, so that it came out at the shoulders; and he lifted him up on the halberd over his head, and planted
the butt-end in the ground. There on the weapon the earl breathed out his life in sight of all, both friends and foes. Then Thorolf drew his sword and dealt
blows on either side, his men also charging. Many Britons and Scots fell, but some turned and fled.
But earl Adils seeing his brother's fall, and the slaughter of many of his force, and the flight of some, while himself was in hard stress,
turned to fly, and ran to the wood. Into the wood fled he and his company; and then all the force that had followed the earl took to flight. Thorolf and Egil
pursued the flying foe. Great was then the slaughter; the fugitives were scattered far and wide over the heath. Earl Adils had lowered his standard; so none
could know his company from others.
And soon the darkness of night began to close in. Thorolf and Egil returned to their camp; and just then king Athelstan came up with the main
army, and they pitched their tents and made their arrangements. A little after came king Olaf with his army; they, too, encamped and made their arrangements
where their men had before placed their tents. Then it was told king Olaf that both his earls Hring and Adils were fallen, and a multitude of his men
53. kafli - Um bardaga.
Hringr jarl ok Aðils, bróðir hans, bjuggu her sinn ok fóru þegar um nóttina suðr á heiðina. En er ljóst var, þá sá varðmenn þeira
Þórólfs, hvar herrinn fór. Var þá blásinn herblástr, ok herklæddust menn, tóku síðan at fylkja liðinu ok höfðu tvær fylkingar. Réð Álfgeirr jarl
fyrir annarri fylking, ok var merki borit fyrir honum. Var í þeiri fylking lið þat, er honum hafði fylgt, ok svá þat lið, er þar hafði til safnazt
ór heruðum. Var þat miklu fleira lið en þat, er þeim Þórólfi fylgði.
Þórólfr var svá búinn, at hann hafði skjöld víðan ok þykkvan, hjálm á höfði allsterkan, gyrðr sverði því, er hann kallaði Lang, mikit
vápn ok gott. Kesju hafði hann í hendi. Fjöðrin var tveggja álna löng ok sleginn fram broddr ferstrendr, en upp var fjöðrin breið, falrinn bæði langr
ok digr, skaftit var eigi hæra en taka mátti hendi til fals ok furðuliga digrt. Járnteinn var í falnum ok skaftit allt járnvafit. Þau spjót váru kölluð
Egill hafði inn sama búnað sem Þórólfr. Hann var gyrðr sverði því, er hann kallaði Naðr. Þat sverð hafði hann fengit á Kúrlandi. Var þat
it bezta vápn. Hvárrgi þeira hafði brynju.
Þeir settu merki upp, ok bar þat Þorfiðr strangi. Allt lið þeira hafði norræna skjöldu ok allan norrænan herbúnað. í þeiri fylking váru
allir norrænir menn, þeir er þar váru. Fylkðu þeir Þórólfr nær skóginum, en Álfgeirs fylking fór með ánni.
Aðils jarl ok þeir bræðr sá þat, at þeir myndi ekki koma þeim Þórólfi á óvart. Þá tóku þeir at fylkja sínu liði. Gerðu þeir ok tvær
fylkingar ok höfðu tvau merki. Fylkði Aðils móti Álfgeiri jarli, en Hringr móti víkingum. Síðan tókst þar orrosta. Gengu hvárirtveggju vel fram.
Aðils jarl sótti hart fram, þar til er Álfgeirr lét undan sígast, en Aðils menn sóttu þá hálfu djarfligar. Var þá ok eigi lengi, áðr
en Álfgeirr flýði, ok er þat frá honum at segja, at hann reið undan suðr á heiðina ok sveit manna með honum. Reið hann, þar til er hann kom nær borg
þeiri, er konungr sat.
Þá mælti jarlinn: "Ekki ætla ek oss fara til borgarinnar. Vér fengum mikit orðaskak næst, er vér kómum til konungs, þá er vér höfðum
farit ósigr fyrir Óláfi konungi, ok ekki mun honum þykkja batnat hafa várr kostr í þessi ferð. Mun nú ekki þurfa at ætla til sæmða, þar sem hann er."
Síðan reið hann suðr á landit, ok er frá hans ferð þat at segja, at hann reið dag ok nótt, þar til er þeir kómu vestr á Jarlsnes. Fekk
jarl sér þar far suðr um sæ ok kom fram á Vallandi. Þar átti hann kyn hálft. Kom hann aldregi síðan til Englands.
Aðils rak fyrst flóttann ok eigi langt, áðr hann snýr aftr ok þar til, er orrostan var, ok veitti þá atgöngu.
En er Þórólfr sá þat, sneri hann í móti jarli ok bað þangat bera merkit, bað menn sína fylgjast vel ok standa þykkt. "Þokum at skóginum,"
sagði hann, "ok látum hann hlífa á bak oss, svá at þeir megi eigi öllum megum at oss ganga."
Þeir gerðu svá, fylgðu fram skóginum. Varð þá hörð orrosta. Sótti Egill móti Aðísli, ok áttust þeir við hörð skipti. Liðsmunr var
allmikill, ok þó fell meir lið þeira Aðils.
Þórólfr gerðist þá svá óðr, at hann kastaði skildinum á bak sér, en tók spjótit tveim höndum. Hljóp hann þá fram ok hjó eða lagði til
beggja handa. Stukku menn þá frá tveggja vegna, en hann drap marga. Ruddi hann svá stíginn fram at merki jarlsins Hrings, ok helzt þá ekki við honum.
Hann drap þann mann, er bar merki Hrings jarls, ok hjó niðr merkisstöngina. Síðan lagði hann spjótinu fyrir brjóst jarlinum í gegnum brynjuna ok búkinn,
svá at út gekk um herðarnar, ok hóf hann upp á kesjunni yfir höfuð sér ok skaut niðr spjótshalanum í jörðina, en jarlinn sæfðist á spjótinu, ok sá þat
allir, bæði hans menn ok svá hans óvinir. Síðan brá Þórólfr "sverðinu, ok hjó hann þá til beggja handa. Sóttu þá ok at hans menn. Fellu þá mjök Bretar ok
Skotar, en sumir snerust á flótta.
En er Aðils jarl sá fall bróður síns ok mannfall mikit af liði hans, en sumir flýðu, en hann þóttist hart niðr koma, þá sneri hann á
flótta ok rann til skógarins. Hann flýði í skóginn ok hans sveit. Tók þá at flýja lið þat, er þeim hafði fylgt. Gerðist þá mannfall mikit af flóttamönnum,
ok dreifðist þá flóttinn víða um heiðina. Aðils jarl hafði niðr drepit merki sínu, ok vissi þá engi, hvárt hann fór eða aðrir menn. Tók þá brátt at myrkva
af nótt, en þeir Þórólfr ok Egill sneru aftr til herbúða sinna, ok þá jafnskjótt kom þar Aðalsteinn konungr með allan her sinn ok slógu þá landtjöldum
sínum ok bjuggust um.
Litlu síðar kom Óláfr konungr með sinn her. Tjölduðu þeir ok bjuggust um, þar sem þeira menn höfðu tjaldat. Var Óláfi konungi þá sagt, at
fallnir váru þeir báðir jarlar hans, Hringr ok Aðils, ok mikill fjölði annarra manna hans.